Pu-ro, pa-ki-ja-na/ne, and the Sanctuary of Poseidon at Pylos
Barbara Montecchi Studi Micenei 2 (2016): 143-160
The focus of this paper is the relationship between the two most important place names mentioned in the Linear B tablets from Pylos: pu-ro (alphabetical Greek Πύλος) and pa-ki-ja-na/-ne (possibly *Σφαγιᾶνα/ες). The first is identified as the seat of the Mycenaean Palace, whose remains lie on the hill of Epano Englianos, while the second is generally assumed to be an important cult centre close to the Palace, perhaps in the vicinity of Chora Volimidia. So far, however, the attempts made to identify pa-ki-ja-na/-ne on the ground have not provided any definitive result. This paper investigates the possibility of a sub-level territorial organisation and, as a consequence, that one of these two place names may be a form of district name, while the other may be the name of the main settlement within such a district. Following this scenario, the hypothesis will be discussed that the temple of Poseidon (po-si-da-i-jo), which is linked both to pu-ro and pa-ki-ja-ne, corresponded to the central Megaron of the Palace, the religious role of which is well known. Poseidon, indeed, seems to be the main god of this Mycenaean realm and religious offerings with a strong fiscal aspect were periodically delivered to him, but no proper sanctuary has been brought to light there.